New CCJ rules come into effect offering better protection, interest rate rises could affect mortgage costs, and our latest stats show a worrying increase in personal debt levels.
Here are this month’s most important debt and money news stories…
1. New CCJ rules offer better protection
New rules on how creditors deal with Count Court judgments (CCJs) came into effect this month. This includes giving people more time to come to an agreement before starting court proceedings and more steps creditors must take before starting court proceedings.
These new process is called the ‘Pre-Action Protocol’ and it’s a lengthy document, but here’s an easy-to-read summary of the important changes.
2. Interest rate rises on the horizon
The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told the BBC that the base rate of interest is likely to rise in the “relatively near term”. The current rate’s remained low since the 2008 financial crisis, and was further reduced from 0.5% to 0.25% last year after the EU referendum.
The base rate affects interest rates for banks and lenders, so when the rate goes up, some mortgage, loans and savings rates also increase. Whether the rise directly affects your mortgage payments depends on your deal, so it’s worth checking out our article on ways to save money on your mortgage.
3. Our stats: 1 person contacts us every 48 seconds
Data from our 2017 Statistics Mid-Yearbook, released a few weeks ago, shows a worrying increase in both personal debt levels and the demand for debt advice from people under financial pressure.
Last year we saw average unsecured debts of our clients go up for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, and this is a trend that’s continued in the first half of this year.
Our stats also show the pressures facing our clients, including the rise in people getting into debt at a younger age, more people behind on their household bills, and lone parents struggling to make ends meet.
4. HSBC first major bank to launch ‘open banking’ app
A new app from HSBC that lets customers access all of their accounts, including those from other banks, is being trialled ahead of launch next year. The HSBC beta app is launching as part of a shake-up to the way banks share information between themselves, an initiative called ‘open banking’.
In the future all major banks will have to share customer data between them (with your consent), so expect to hear much more of the new buzzword “opening banking” in the near future.
5. Is your new £10 note worth thousands?
Now the new plastic tenner has been released, the hunt’s begun for notes that could be worth a fortune. The Mirror recently reported that a note featuring Jane Austen’s birthday as the serial number has already fetched £3,600!
Our friends at MoneySavingExpert.com have an article that covers how to spot the rarest notes. Happy hunting!